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We welcome submissions for the following panel which will take place at the
Coalition of Women in German’s (WiG) annual conference (November 4-7, 2021
in Portland, Oregon, USA)

Twisting Tongues:

Multilingual Literature and Anti-Racism


Marisol Bayona Roman, The University of Texas at Austin (
[log in to unmask])

Nikki Fogle, University of Georgia ([log in to unmask])

Claire Scott, Kenyon College ([log in to unmask])

In her 2016 award-winning story "Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin," Sharon
Dodua Otoo uses an unconventional narrator to transform a typical German
breakfast scene into a polyvocal encounter with Germany's racist past,
present, and a potentially anti-racist future. In honor of her
participation as a guest at the Coalition of Women in German’s 2021
conference and in celebration of her debut novel in German, Adas Raum
(2021), we are seeking submissions that highlight the potential for
multilingual/polyvocal language to inspire different ways of thinking and
being both within and outside hegemonic modes of knowing and understanding.
In particular, we are interested in non-canonical texts, misinterpreted
works, and instances of misunderstanding or miscommunication that have
contemporary relevance in light of recent calls for social justice. As in
“Herr Gröttrup,” a simple mundane task can provide a backdrop for the
emergence of unique forms of language and the imagination of new futures.

We welcome papers on a variety of time periods and media that support WiG’s
commitment to antiracist intersectional feminism. Some authors and artists
to consider in this context include, but are certainly not limited to:
Sharon Dodua Otoo herself, Olivia Wenzel, Olumide Popoola, Phillip Khabo
Koepsell, Yoko Tawada, and Natasha Kelly.

Some potential questions to consider include:


   How do concepts become misinterpreted or untranslatable?

   How do we reconcile the many modes and meanings of a single reference as
   it is discussed in different cultural and historical contexts?

   What do we gain from polyvocal or multilingual representation that would
   otherwise get lost in translation or remain unexpressed?

   In light of the manifold contributions by Black Germans to discourses on
   epistemic violence and injustice, how can cultural production reconfigure
   frames of knowledge?

   What types of futures do polyvocal or multilingual representation open
   up? How do these imagined futures resonate with current social justice
   movements and/or Afrofuturism?

   Where are the linguistic borders of German literature? How do polyvocal
   or multilingual texts challenge literary canons and disciplinary borders?

   What language is needed to create or imagine anti-racist pasts,
   presents, and futures?

*Please submit an abstract of around 300 words and a short bio to the
organizers by February 15, 2021.*

Given the volatile situation presented by the pandemic, we are not certain
what the WiG conference will look like next year. At the moment, we are
planning for an in-person conference in Portland, Oregon on November 4–7,
2021. We will revisit this discussion at our spring leadership meeting and
will notify the membership at that point as to whether any changes are
necessary and forthcoming. Membership in the Coalition of Women in German
will be required to present on this panel but is not required to submit an

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Sean Franzel
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: